As the COVID-19 outbreak reached the UK, the Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust’s official charity WISHH approached its Chief Executive, Chris Long, to offer its support to the hospitals and staff during one of the most challenging times in the history of the NHS.
WISHH recognised that the demands of dealing with the Coronavirus would fall heavily on staff working within the hospitals and wanted to support them delivering care in these exceptionally challenging circumstances by launching the WISHH COVID-19 Appeal.
To date the campaign has raised £45,000 and received donations from across the community, some donations received have come in anonymously and the charity would like to take this opportunity to thank these donors.
23 fundraising teams have set up a variety of fundraisers via Just Giving and Virgin Giving to support the Trust’s hospitals.
Antony Baines, a Firefighter at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service set up his £5 for 5k challenge, laying down the gauntlet for the community, friends, serving Fire Service staff and other uniformed service staff to either run or walk 5k and donate to the charity. To date, over 300 have taken part in his challenge or donated, including Rachel Kemp who ran 30 miles on her treadmill, Daisy Parker ran 5k wearing a weighted vest, stopping every 2 minutes to do squats and burpees. Antony himself ran around the village of Leven in full firefighter kit at the weekend. To date Antony’s fundraisers has raised over £3,000 for the appeal.
On Sunday, WISHH fundraiser Daniel Haley took part in his garden marathon challenge running 600 laps of his garden in just over 6 hours, raising over £800.
Leanne Marshall, Director of Hunters Estate Agents in Beverley in association with the Beverley Chamber of Trade are funding a special bench to thank Hull hospitals staff for their efforts at this time and pay tribute to all healthcare workers who continue to show their dedication, courage and compassion. Leanne is inviting members of the community to make their own donation to the appeal through their dedicated fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leanne-marshall19 and offer the chance to have the bench engraved with special message of thanks, support or dedication.
Other examples of fundraising include head shaves, a 1,500 mile challenge by the University of Hull Lacrosse Team, online fitness sessions, gaming marathons and much more.
Lisa Whitton, WISHH Charity Manager said: “We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported our campaign to date. All Hull hospitals staff are doing a tremendous job in these exceptional circumstances delivering incredible care to their patients. Many staff have been deployed to new roles to meet the challenge that COVID-19 virus has brought to the hospitals in Hull.”
Sue Stephenson, WISHH Chairman said: “We are immensely proud of all of our fundraisers who have come up with some fantastic ways of raising the much needed support for our hospitals, boosting the morale of staff and helping support their wellbeing during these unprecedented times. We are all in it together and it’s a collective effort in us tackling the virus and supporting the Trust’s staff. We are incredibly grateful for the support our appeal has received.
“We recognise that the current challenges faced by all NHS staff will be with us for an extended period of time and as a charity are committed to providing our support for as long as required and we hope the community will support us in this effort. Thank you.”
Examples of what the funds raised from the Appeal have and will continue to be used for in the coming months, include:
- Making funds available to the Trust to be used to help support the provision of free meals, snacks and drinks on an on-going basis.
- Supporting the on-going provision of hand, body, face and barrier creams for staff having to wear personal protective clothing.
- Working with community groups with the production of scrubs and other items.
- Supporting the provision of welfare packs to give to staff seeking and being given emotional support including the provision of distraction items, including, puzzles, colouring books and journals for newly created breakout/time–out rooms.
- Funding for the provision of water bottles for staff in wards and departments making it easier for them to access drinks.
If you would like to find out more about the campaign or support it, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/wishhappeal
Contact Lisa Whitton at WISHH on 07827 881766 or email WISHHappeal@hey.nhs.uk
Cheques can be made payable to the WISHH Charity, posted to the WISHH Office, COVID-19 Appeal, First Floor Administration Block, Castle Hill Hospital, Castle Road, Cottingham, HU16 5JQ.
[Lisa Whitton – WISHH]